John Theodore Parker
Parker, John Theodore Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Vice Admiral John Theodore Parker, United States Navy, (Ret.), age 89, died peacefully due to heart failure in the early evening of June 25, 2021. A native of Wheelwright, Kentucky, "Ted" was studying engineering at the Univ. of Cincinnati in 1951 when he was surprised by an invitation to apply to the US Naval Academy. He was accepted, and from that time on, saltwater began to run in his Appalachian veins. Possessed of keen intelligence and a dry (and sometimes corny) sense of humor, Ted was accused by his classmates of "learning by osmosis: place book on desk, place feet on book, lean back and grow wise." And yet as a Midshipman, he commanded the 19th Company, the 5 th Battalion, and was Captain of the Fencing Team, winning All-American honors. He graduated, was commissioned as an Ensign, and got married in June of 1955. During his active-duty years, Adm. Parker served on a number of ships, commanding three: USS St Clair County (LST-1096), USS Macdonough (DLG-8) and USS Piedmont (AD-17). He and his family moved innumerable times, from coast to coast and eventually overseas, where he served as Chief of Staff for the commander of the 6th Fleet. Several assignments involved him in the development of shipboard weapons systems. In 1978 he was assigned to lead the analytical effort to define the characteristics required in a new class of destroyers; this work led to design and construction of the Arleigh Burke class destroyers, which are still in service in large numbers. He regarded this analytical work as his most significant contribution to the Navy. He attended Nuclear Power School, and participated in the Navy's initial efforts in defense against ballistic missiles. He earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from GWU, and is a distinguished graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. As a flag officer, he commanded Service Group TWO in the Atlantic, served as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, commanded the Operational Test and Evaluation Force, and in his final tour, Directed the Defense Nuclear Agency, reorienting that agency to the post-Cold War environment. Along the way, three children showed up, delighting their parents, and eventually grandchildren were welcomed into the fold. In his free time, Ted greatly enjoyed playing the piano, with and without the assistance of his progeny, singing and harmonizing in his pleasing baritone. He always found great joy in teasing his beloved wife, and in simply spending time with his family. After retiring from active duty in 1989, he formed his own consulting company, serving as a director on several corporate boards, including Elbit Systems of America (whose contributions to the military defense of this country are substantial) and the Severn Leadership Group (SLG). Ted was a founding board member who ensured, with others, SLG's focus on developing leaders of character committed to serving others before self. With his USNA Class of '55 cohort, he coordinated and presented two major gifts to the Naval Academy: the restoration of the crypt of John Paul Jones, and a large mural representing the Cold War. A life-long follower of Jesus, he chaired the administrative board at Calvary United Methodist Church in Arlington, VA for several years. In retirement, while residing in Annapolis, he and Mrs. Parker have been very active in the Naval Academy Chapel. He served as Chair of the Protestant Chapel Council and taught Plebe Sunday School for several years. He also organized the Chapel ministries that provide briefings about the Chapel for visitors, as well as video recordings of services for shut-ins and other requester's. His work with SLG and active mentorship of many participants reflected his deep faith, remaining a particular interest and passion until his death. In a final act of self-giving, he donated his body to the University of MD School of Medicine. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, the former H. Anne Solomons, daughter Leigh Anne Butterbrodt of Kenosha, WI; son John Theodore Parker III and daughter-in-law Carol-Ann Parker of Leonardtown, MD; daughter Emily Slough and son-in-law Stephen Slough of N. Springfield, VA; and three of his four grandchildren: Kathryn Parker Hutzel and Eric Hutzel, John Theodore Parker IV and Megan Dotson, and Sarah Slough. His sister, Ann "Rooney" Cappellari, of Huntington WV, also survives her brother. A memorial service will be held on August 2 at 2pm at the US Naval Academy Chapel (enter at Gate 8), with private inurnment to follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to The Severn Leadership Group, a non-profit focused on developing leaders of character committed to serving others before self. Donate online at https://severnleadership.org/donate/ or mail to 504 Tremont Circle, Annapolis, MD 21409. Please sign the Guestbook at www.legacy.com/washingtontimes
Published by Washington Times from Jul. 20 to Jul. 23, 2021.
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26 Entries
I Just heard about Ted's passing. This humble Christian warrior will be sorely missed by the Greenbrier Military School's Alumni Assn. as he led it through some trying times. When I looked through GMS's newspapers his name was always at the top of the physics & math honor rolls. His Dad, a mining superintendent, advised him he would have to go away to school to get the math classes he needed for engineering so GMS was chosen. I regret my interview with Anne & Ted didn't get published in our newsletter before his passing. I hope to do it soon.
George Counts, NAS Fort Lauderdale Museum
August 22, 2021
Anne, I'm so sorry to hear about John's passing!! John was so gracious to Dad and I when we visited in 1998 and it was such a great pleasure to spend time with you both. We will keep the Parker Family in our prayers knowing that God's Angels will be guiding you through this trying time! Kevin & Nancy
Kevin W McIntire
August 17, 2021
Anne, John, Emily and the rest of Adm Ted's family, we were very saddened to hear the news. He was truly an extraordinary individual and a great Naval Officer! I learned much from him during my time as his EA at DNA! We are very sorry that circumstances are such these days that we can not travel to be there. All our love from San Diego!
Sheila and Jerry Ferguson
Friend
August 1, 2021
Cindy Guill
July 26, 2021
I was so sorry to hear about Ted's passing. My Father worked for his father in Wheelwright, KY. Ted was a great role model and I was glad we got to work together on some Greenbrier Military School projects, He was like an older brother to me. I will miss him!!
W. Beaman Cummings Jr
Friend
July 26, 2021
What an absolute privilege to serve with Ted on the SLG Board. He was the consummate gentleman and extraordinary co-laborer. Many lives have been improved, and will continue to be changed, because of his dedication to others. The world was a better place because of Ted Parker, and now...heaven is as well.
Chuck & Janet Hollingsworth
July 24, 2021
Heard many great memories from Lily & Blake. I'm very sorry for your loss. God bless family, and friends.
Pam Hinds
Friend
July 24, 2021
Bob and Tillie Kahle
July 24, 2021
I had the distinct honor of working with then Captain Parker when he was VADM Train's (COMSIXTHFLT) Chief of Staff in 1977 on board USS Albany (CG-10) when I was assigned as the Naval Investigative Service (Now NCIS) Special Agent at the ship's home port of Gaeta, Italy. Both a fine Naval Officer and man.
Fredrick L Stilwell
Work
July 23, 2021
We offer our thoughts of loss and our condolences to your family and will keep you in our prayers. We of the Greenbrier Military School Alumni Association feel the loss of one of our own who exemplified the ideals of quality leadership in all he did. Know we will remember him at this and all reunions. Peace be with you Ted.
Dan Pennington GMSAA
Friend
July 23, 2021
Sadly we´re just learning of this huge loss while we´re on a 3-month summer "cross-country" in our RV motorhome. What a shock for us and we know we are not alone. Ted was such a marvelous role model. Hugs to all.
`Nita & Jack Parry
Friend
July 22, 2021
My sincerest condolences on the loss of your wonderful father, father in law, and grandfather. I met him only one time and it was clear he possessed an excellent sense of humor and a very big heart. God bless.
Kathy Clark
Friend
July 21, 2021
Our hearts and thoughts are with you during this time. Please know that you are not alone in remembering a truly wonderful person that meant so much to so many. Our hearts go out to you and your family. Much love to you, dear Anne.
Dan and Sara Lucas
Friend
July 20, 2021
My heartfelt condolences to the family. I served with Admiral Parker on the USS Macdonough. He was a gentleman and a great inspiration to me.
Benjamin M Gonzales
Friend
July 20, 2021
Ted & Anne were my MYF leaders and I have fond memories of them and the guidance they gave us that has lasted a lifetime. My sincere condolences.
Kent Gates
Other
July 20, 2021
My Captain aboard the USS MacDonough. A very knowledgeable, confident and great leader. At our reunions if you said "hello Admiral" he would say "call me Ted". He treated everyone with respect. A very giving Christian man. A true role model for us all. Our thoughts and prayers to Anne and family. Much Love
John and Kathy Curtin
Friend
July 20, 2021
I served under Admiral Parker when aboard the Macdonough, lost touch with him as I left the service and he continued his sterling career, and my wife and I became good friends over the years after retirement for all of us. He was among the first to seek us out when we were caught in Hurricane Katrina, and we have never forgotten his and Anne's kindnesses. He will be missed by the thousands whose lives he touched and by the country he defended.
Gayle and Catherine Dalferes
Friend
July 20, 2021
We so enjoyed getting to know Ted and Anne, and appreciated our time together at the Macdonnough reunions. It was so special to be able to share our faith in Christ with them. Our condolences to the family .
Alan& Linda Buchanan
July 20, 2021
May he rest in peace. It has been an honor and a pleasure to know your beautiful family. Being part of the Chapel Family has been a delightful experience for me.
Judith A. Hatton
Friend
July 20, 2021
A great honor to have served under his command on the "Mighty Mac". A wonderful leader and a great man.
Rick Tylla
Friend
July 20, 2021
My first "Captain" on the USS MacDonough DLG-8. He set the standard for all other captains I served under. Nancy and I send condolences to Anne and her family and have fond memories of our time together.
Roger and Nancy Achelpohl
Friend
July 20, 2021
What an honor to know and love Anne and Ted. He will be greatly missed. Prayers for all of the family.
Larry & Donna Brown
Friend
July 20, 2021
We send our sympathies to the entire family. There are so many details about Ted's life that we did not know. They only add to the picture of a wonderful, caring gentleman, husband, father, grandfather.
Bill and Ellen-Jane Pairo
Friend
July 20, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember how kind Ted always was. I am grateful for the Piedmont times we shared and Ted's leadership. Peace.
Pat Ruese
Friend
July 20, 2021
RIP Ted.
Frank Titus
Friend
July 18, 2021
Anne de Angelis
July 18, 2021
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